Unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Bridges

For Sparky and myself, curiosity drives passion which in turn fuels our life's engine. Our passion was capturing the story of both unbuilding the Grace (1929 - 2007) and Pearman (1966 - 2007) Bridges and discovering the unbuilders. It takes a lot of passion to track a project from July 2005 until April 2007 - rain, shine, hurricanes or moving to Singapore. We discovered the joy of discovery learning. Ken Canty opened the front door for us - then Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley and Mickey Rogers opened many side doors. Below are the highlights of what we discovered, who we met and what we learned.

And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

August 8, 2005: It started today

Each 2nd Monday, Jack Alterman offers a public presentation of some aspect of photography. From the Post and Courier, I learned that tonight's program was with David Russin who discussed "self assignment, creating photographic art". Since I "self assigned" myself tracking the construction of the Ravenel Bridge and have just reassigned myself to tracking the unbuilding (demolition) of the Grace and Cooper Bridges, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn more about my weekend project.

After the session, I suddenly noted that a segment of the Pearman on ramp was absent. With night racing toward me there was little light for capturing the first demolition event. Here are the first photos of sleeping bridge eaters:

My first look - with billboard, sleeping bridge eaters and bridge fragments

From Saturday's survey - note the number "9" on the column above and compare with Saturday's photo below (from a different angle)

Just fun displays of what was and now what is not

Here you can clearly see rebar fragments protruding from the prestressed girders

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer